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10 Simple Habits You Didn’t Know Can Help You Live Without Anxiety

10 Simple Habits You Didn’t Know Can Help You Live Without Anxiety

Life can be stressful—juggling family, friends, your career, and the daily grind of bill paying and errand-running. Don’t get overwhelmed! You don’t have to turn to therapy and medication. Instead of letting life give you panic attacks, try these ten simple habits that can help you live without anxiety.

1. Create boring routines.

If you’re doing the same thing, day after day, then you don’t have to worry about an unknown variable throwing off your entire day. Have a certain way you drive to work every morning, and go home the same way each afternoon. Work out a routine for your work day that ensures you get everything done without feeling pressed for time. Check your email first thing, work on projects right after lunch when your energy levels are high. Knowing what’s coming up in your day will reduce your anxiety about the unknown.

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2. Write down your thoughts.

Keep a journal. It might sound juvenile or time-consuming, but it helps! Writing down your thoughts gets them out of your head; you might feel more relaxed if you have them written down, but don’t have to think about them as often. Seeing them on paper might also help you work through them more logically than when they’re bumping around in your mind.

3. Study your anxiety.

When you feel anxious, stop and think about what is making you feel that way and why. Learning what sets off your anxiety can help you gain control of it in the future, and possibly even figure out how to prevent it! If you always feel anxious when you have a stressful deadline at work, you’ll know to ask your boss for an extension, or to start the project earlier. There are ways to combat and control your anxiety, once you know its source.

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4. Accept the discomfort.

When you start feeling anxious, accept it! No one likes feeling uncomfortable, but if you stop getting frustrated at the sensation, then you can help control your anxiety. The discomfort of an anxiety attack often feels so overwhelming that it leads to more and more panic, prolonging the attack unnecessarily. Accept your feelings and see how it helps you keep your anxiety under control.

5. Exercise daily.

Physical exercise greatly helps combat feelings of anxiety and depression. Instead of moping around the house, letting your thoughts control your emotions, get active! Join a gym and make up a workout routine. Run around your neighborhood. Do stretches, crunches, lift weights! Keeping your body active will keep your mind occupied, and as an added bonus, it will wear you out so you’ll fall asleep easily, without tossing and turning while anxious thoughts take over your brain.

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6. Take time to relax.

It sounds like the opposite of exercising, right? Work hard, play hard! Trying to pack your day too full is one way to find yourself overcome by anxiety. Don’t be afraid to say no to certain people or events in order to keep time for yourself. When you relax, relax completely. Don’t watch TV or stay connected to your phone. Let your mind go blank and let your body go limp and see how refreshed you feel when you get up.

7. Distract yourself.

Your mind is too good at imagining the worst that could happen in any situation, and worrying about that before it even happens. When you start to feel anxious, your brain latches onto this feeling and won’t let go until you’re having a full blown attack. You have to take control and distract your own mind. Do logic puzzles, math problems, or say the alphabet backwards. These seem like simple solutions, but the problems themselves are complex enough to consume your brain and let all the anxiety float away.

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8. Stop drinking caffeine.

It’s hard, I know! In fact, trying to stop drinking caffeine might be enough to distract yourself, as the last tip recommended! But caffeine is a stimulant, and consuming copious amounts will amp you up and keep you from sleeping. Caffeine is known to improve your alertness, concentration, and memory, but too much, or if you’re already inclined to anxiety, then these positive factors quickly turn into a pounding heart, inability to focus, and the jitters. Cutting caffeine will mean you’re cutting something that more than likely helps bring on anxiety attacks.

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    9. Stimulate positive thinking.

    Even if you feel down in the dumps and it seems impossible, make yourself think positive! Anxiety can’t last forever, and stress will fade away before long. Push yourself to turn every situation that’s bothering you into something positive. Tell yourself that your anxiety is unfounded, and will pass before you know it.

    10. Have a support group.

    This doesn’t mean you have to enroll in group therapy—it just means having a group of people you can talk to and rely on. It’s important to be able to be honest with others, so make sure your circle is full of people you trust. You’ll feel better if you can share your feelings, and you’ll get better feedback and advice.

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2019

    10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

    10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

    Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

    In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

    These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

    1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

    Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

    But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

    Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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    2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

    You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

    The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

    3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

    If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

    Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

    If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

    4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

    Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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    To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

    In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

    5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

    We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

    If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

    Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

    “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

    6. Give for the Joy of Giving

    When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

    One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

    So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

    7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

    Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

    Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

    8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

    When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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    So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

    9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

    Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

    It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

    It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

    10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

    There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

    But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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    Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

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    Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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